Aquino: Cayetano’s politics must be as transparent as his hairstyle
Former President Benigno Aquino III took a swipe at Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday, telling him that his politics should be as “transparent as his hairstyle” and belittling his conduct with China.
The comments were the latest in a word war between the two, who have a fraught history as ex-party mates over the Duterte administration’s handling of the West Philippine Sea dispute.
On Tuesday, Cayetano challenged Aquino to ask his then Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario if he was transparent with him.
“Transparency was the hallmark of our administration,” Aquino told reporters at the Manila Memorial Park, where the family gathered to commemorate the ninth death anniversary of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino.
Relishing the chance to hit back at Cayetano, Aquino said, “He and I both have a transparent hairstyle; hopefully his politics, too, could be transparent.”
“I’m not insulting him, his hair is thicker than mine,” he quickly added.
The former President also expressed dismay at the proposed 60-40 sharing agreement between the Philippines and China of natural resources in the West Philippine Sea.
“We are talking about our exclusive economic zone. We have no obligation to share with them,” Aquino insisted.
He then mused that during his tenure, he used to joke that China would say, “What is ours is ours, and what is yours, we share.”
“It seems like it’s coming true,” Aquino said.
Two years ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague handed down a ruling on the dispute that was heavily favorable to the Philippines, but President Duterte has since declined to enforce in favor of warmer relations with China.
The ruling essentially invalidated China’s historical claims in the area, which the Philippines questioned at the international court during the Aquino’s administration. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.